For those who don’t know, John and his wife, Emily Blunt, share two daughters: 8-year-old Hazel and 6-year-old Violet.
Discussing dad life, John said the girls were super impressed by their mom’s performance in Mary Poppins Returns in 2018, explaining that it gave Emily a “head start” in the all-important Which Parent Is Cooler competition.
So, knowing that their mom is a major movie star, Hazel and Violet apparently weren’t quite so enthusiastic about their dad’s projects — namely The Office.
John starred in the comedy series as Jim Halpert, and despite it being one of his best-loved roles, it sounds like the show’s success has presented a number of complications in his personal life.
For example, he explained that when fans approach him on the street and say they know him from The Office, it can be confusing for his kids to understand that they’re not talking about his actual workplace.
“I was walking them to school one day and this guy came up and he went, 'John! From The Office!'” he recalled during the interview. “He went, ‘Oh my god, it’s so good to see you!’ And I said, ‘Thanks.’ And we kept walking.”
Having listened in on the exchange, his daughter proceeded to ask if the guy was someone he worked with, to which John answered “no.” However, his response didn’t quite cut it.
“She goes, ‘Why are you lying to me? … He just said he knows you from the office?’” John said.
Thanks to interactions like these, the actor said his kids are now convinced that he works an average 9-to-5, and that their movie star mom made the decision to settle down with a regular guy.
“My kids thought that she had married me out of charity, like, ‘You’re so nice to marry an accountant! That’s so nice of you,’” he joked. “‘Cause they don’t know what I do.”
But, funnily enough, it sounds like the girls’ discontent with The Office isn’t for lack of trying.
After Hazel and Violet recently showed a vague interest in the show’s existence, John revealed that he and Emily made the big decision to let them watch a few episodes.
“We were driving and from the backseat I heard, ‘So, what’s the deal with this Office thing?’ And I was like, ‘OK, it’s a big question. We’ll cut it down into bite-size morsels,’” he said.
Naturally, Emily suggested that they start with the Pilot, and as they did, the girls were taken aback — not by their dad’s performance — but by how much they hated Steve Carrell’s character.
“They were watching the first episode and my oldest — turns out she’s a screen talker-ater — she’s talking to the screen,” he said. “And so when Steve fired Jenna [Fischer] she goes, ‘What are you doing? You’re a horrible person!’”
As for his youngest, Violet was able to recognize the familiar-looking man onscreen and decided to do some investigating.
“My 6-year-old kept asking, ‘Is that you?’ And I said, ‘Yeah, it is,’” he remembered.
Violet couldn’t help but point out how different he looked, and ultimately, came to the conclusion that it couldn’t possibly be her dad on the screen.
“I said, ‘That’s me, I’m just playing a character,’ and she said, ‘That’s not you,’” he laughed.
And despite enjoying Mary Poppins, it seems like the girls’ general lack of interest in their parents’ fame applies to both mom and dad, with Emily revealing a few weeks ago that Hazel and Violet have absolutely no desire to become fans of their work.
“They don't really want to watch us onscreen,” she told E! News last month. “They've got that ownership of us as parents. It's not— they’re not like running to see me in a movie, which keeps you humble.”
Well, if there’s one thing about kids, it’s that they certainly keep you grounded.